Suffolk lose junior match to Essex

SUFFOLK went down to Essex by 12-and-a-half matches to five-and-a-half in a junior inter-county match at under 18 and under 16 level.The teams were level after nine holes of foursomes.

By Tony Garnett

SUFFOLK went down to Essex by 12-and-a-half matches to five-and-a-half in a junior inter-county match at under 18 and under 16 level.

The teams were level after nine holes of foursomes. It was in the singles that Essex took control although they needed to produce golf of a very high quality to establish their superiority on the day.

The top under 18 match saw team captains in opposition. Jack Hiluta of Chelmsford, also the England Boys' captain, played Suffolk's Michael Swan who had won the Stoke by Nayland Junior open the previous day.

Swan fell three behind early on, battled back to level only to fall two behind once again. In the closing stages Hiluta hung on to a one-hole advantage until winning the 17th for a 2 and 1 success. Swan had his chances but even short putts were often a problem on sanded and slow greens.

It was bitterly cold with a tricky wind. In the second match Liam Brace, a member of the England under 18 squad, played well from tee to green but lost out to Jack Clarke of Chelmsford whose putting was exceptional.

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Joe Cardy of Hintlesham prevented a clean sweep for Essex in the under 18 singles with the biggest win of the day. He beat Christian Foreman of Rochford Hundred 6 and 5.

Tom Stephenson of Bury St Edmunds, Sam Forgan of Stowmarket and Owen Pearl of Stoke by Nayland kept it close without but were always fighting uphill battles.

The star of the under 16 group was Alastair Hall of Bungay, captain for the day, who gave a dogged and determined display to wear down James Webber of Channels with a 4 and 3 victory. Hall and Charlie Taylor of Ipswich also scored a notable foursomes win over Jack Heasman and Steven Jones.

Hugo Dobson and Patrick Spraggs, an established partnership, also won convincingly against Jay Beisser and Andy Milne.

Chris Gooding of Ipswich was three up against Milne .but had to settle for a half. Dobson was also three up in the early stages but went down on the final green against Charlie Clare. Dobson had been two down with three to play but was level on the 18th tee.

Spraggs of Stowmarket, in such splendid form at Stoke by Nayland, found Beisser at his best. Jack Jowers and Taylor both fell behind early on and were never allowed to recover.


At Haverhill: Overall: Suffolk 5.5 Essex 12.5

Under 18 (Suffolk 2 Essex 7)

Foursomes (over nine holes). Suffolk names first:

Michael Swan and Liam Brace beat Jack Hiluta and Dan Capps 2 and 1.

Tom Stephenson and Sam Forgan lost to Jack Clarke and Christian Foreman two down.

Owen Pearl and Joe Cardy lost to Dave Thomas and Joe Galbraith two down.

Singles: Swan lost to Hiluta 2 and 1, Brace lost to Clarke 5 and 3, Stephenson lost to Capps one down, Forgan lost to Galbraith 2 and 1, Pearl lost to Thomas two down, Cardy beat Foreman 6 and 5.

Under 16 (Suffolk 3.5 Essex 4.5)

Foursomes (over nine holes, Suffolk names first):

Hugo Dobson and Patrick Spraggs beat Jay Beisser and Andy Milne 3 and 2

Chris Gooding and Jack Jowers lost to James Webber and Charlie Clare 3 and 2.

Alastair Hall and Charlie Taylor beat Jack Heasman and Steven Jones one up.

Singles: Hall beat Webber 4 and 3, Dobson lost to Clare own down, Spraggs lost to Beisser 5 and 4, Gooding halved with Milne, Jowers lost to Jones 4 and 3, Taylor lost to Heasman 6 and 5.